South East Wales

Fuel bank launches in Cardiff to help keep families warm

Smoke rising from chimney's on a cold day

The first fuel bank in Wales has been opened to help stop struggling families having to "choose between heating and eating".

Eligible food bank users in Cardiff who have pre-payment meters will be given vouchers for gas or electricity.

It will enable them to have lights and heating on for around two weeks.

The fuel bank will be located at Cardiff Foodbank and run by npower and anti-poverty charities The Trussell Trust and National Energy Action.

'Feed my children'

Rebecca, a mother-of-four who had to give up her job as a qualified beauty therapist to support her eldest child, was the first recipient of the fuel bank voucher in Wales.

"Without the help of the food bank and fuel bank, I would not have had electric for a week and would have struggled to feed my children," she said.

"I often have to borrow from my father to help me pay the bills - he has mental health problems and I worry about the extra stress this puts on him."

Catherine Williams, operational manager of Cardiff Foodbank, added: "Whilst we have been able to give people food we have often come across people who say they are unable to cook it."

Fuel banks have been trialled Kingston upon Thames, Durham, Gloucestershire and the Wirral and are now being rolled out more widely.

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